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Saturday, March 24, 2012

What makes a hero?

I have been poking and prodding through my first draft feeling a little despondent.  As the ideas of the early part of my story rushed into my mind they seemed so grandiose and yet, it seems, I will have to tear the prose limb from limb and grind it to a pulp before reshaping it to fulfill my current vision.

Before I devote myself completely to the task I have found it necessary to dwell in a zen-like state on the history of my created world.  What makes it tick?  How does the story of Erik Kranden stem from the world around him?  What forces have been at work in the many centuries of my world, shaping the people who live upon it?

Who are the heroes that the children of Angdu aspire to imitate?  Lirien, a great warrior from the mountains of Iberna, cries the name of Feldor when he wades into battle with his foes.  Who is Feldor?  Is he a real man or a character of myth?

 Why does Lirien honor the name of a man he has never personally known? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Completion of First Draft

Last week I completed my first draft of Rise of a Thought Mage.  It is 400 pages or 94,000 words.  About the size of The Hobbit.  It is hard to anticipate the final length as many new thoughts have run through my mind about the story-line's continued development.  Reading the fist chapter was painful.  In the lucid and dreamy state of mind I was in during its creation it seemed so well written.  As I have progressed along this path and continued to resurrect my long nascent writing skills it has become more and more apparent that I still have far to go.

A little internet searching garnered me some quotes to keep me going.  These are from and seem to resonate with the sentiments of almost every writer's discussion board and website I have come across.  Apparently the first draft is not the apex of any novel's greatness.  I will press on with my two-volume bound 'tome' to try to make it what I have envisioned it should be.

"First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about." - Bernard Malamud

"There is no great writing, only great rewriting." - Justice Brandeis

"Books aren't written - they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it." - Michael Crichton

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Writing a Novel... is exhausting

It is emotionally costly to write well. Dancers, for example, know that they're going to have bloody feet. Pianists know that they'll have to practice until the pain in their fingers makes them cry. Writing a novel is not like writing a letter. Writing a novel is mentally exhausting, far harder than a nine-to-five job. When you write a novel, you live the lives of your characters

This quote from 'Day 46' is so true!  As I pounded out a critical turning point scene this morning I could feel the emotions of my characters flow through me.  It is difficult to squeeze those emotions into prose and be satisfied with the result.  More difficult than I could have ever imagined before I began writing this story.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Progress continues...

It has been some time since I last posted.  The work continues on Rise of a Thought Mage and the groundwork is being laid for the sequel.  Thanks to my fans/readers for your patience!